November 13, 2007

A Diversity of Muslim Fanatics

As the project to spread democracy in some of the most autocratic nations continues apace, some of our liberal friends find themselves incapable of offering their support. Muslims, they might say, aren’t ready for democracy. Thus do our lefty pals demonstrate their unflinching anti-racism.

Yet not all criticisms of America’s newfound democracy-promotion hinges on such charmingly enlightened view of our Islamic brethren. Rather, some folks offer other dubious rationales.

Take Thomas Friedman, for example. Mr. Friedman, the New York Times columnist with the grandest moustache, is famous for having discovered that the world is actually flat—to the curiously intense fanfare of most literate Americans.

These days, however, Mr. Friedman spends his time finger-wagging about Iraq. Ah, if only we had listened to Mr. Friedman’s sage counsel. Then the Middle East would be like a playground: Happy, happy, happy.

For a charming exemplum of Mr. Friedman’s glorious ideas for Iraq, one can take a gander at “Democracy’s Root: Diversity,” which appeared in the November 11 number of the Gray Lady. Even before turning our collective eyes toward the piece, we were highly skeptical. After all, ancient Athens wasn’t highly “diverse,” and yet its residents got a handle on democracy just fine.
Just in case you thought our concern was misplaced, the eminent Mr. Friedman hits us with this unintentionally hilarious quote:

A senior French official suggested to me that maybe we in the West, rather than trying to promote democracy in the Middle East — a notion tainted by its association with the very Western powers that once colonized the region — should be focusing on promoting diversity, which has historical roots in the area.

It’s a valid point.

Yes, yes, yes: We shouldn’t be troubling ourselves with democracy. We ought to be promoting “diversity” instead. What a fantastic idea.

Perhaps we can get a bunch of professional “diversity” apparatchiks to head to Saudi Arabia and offer their delightful “diversity” seminars for the country’s benighted populace. If these “diversity”-mongers are the same folks who run orientation programs at our nation’s colleges and universities, we have a sense that such seminars will work wonders.

After all, what’s more salubrious than informing Saudi Arabian fanatics that white people, qua white people, are ineluctably racists? That ought to help the Middle East.

There’s only one problem: What happens when the Saudis note that America’s “diversity” police are more totalitarian than their own autocratic rulers?

Posted at November 13, 2007 12:01 AM | TrackBack